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Improving Young People's Lives: The role of the environment in building resilience, responsibility and employment chances

Classification:Sustainable Communities, Education
Document type:SDC Reports & Papers
Download:SDC_IYPL_report.pdf - 3807 KB
Summary:imageThis report calls on the Government and service providers to do more to help young people prepare for the green economy in order to tackle youth unemployment.

It also highlights how young people can improve their health, behaviour and sense of personal responsibility through environmental activities and volunteering, with direct relevance to reducing youth offending.

Improving Young People's Lives: The role of the environment in building resilience, responsibility and employment chances finds that by expanding its emphasis on environmental activity and green skills for young people, the Government would enable them to take advantage of opportunities in a growth area.

The number of unemployed 16-19 year olds rose to 934,000 in 2009. Young people who spend significant amounts of time out of employment, education or training are at increased risk of unemployment, depression and ill health in later life.

The report recommends that the Government should:

• Run a green thread through young people policy
Major new policies for young people should have an environmental dimension throughout

• Expand green activity through social investment
Commissioning robust evidence on the economic and social benefits of environmental activities for young people will help the Government to unlock access to social investment funds.

It also recommends that commissioners and providers of services for young people should:

• Empower the workforce and young people
Build the capacity of frontline staff to run an environmental dimension through their work with young people, especially to empower young people to develop personal responsibility

• Focus on prevention
Young people should be entitled to participate in structured environmental activities as a means of building their resilience and self-esteem, boosting their physical and mental health, improving their achievement and taking responsibility

• Draw on expertise of voluntary and community organisations Those involved with the commissioning of services for young people should draw on the insight and resources of community groups, charities and social enterprises wanting to provide environmental activities for young people.

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